The Thief of Always

by Clive Barker

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What is the conflict and trouble for each main character in chapter 12 of The Thief of Always?

Quick answer:

In chapter 12 of The Thief of Always, the conflicts are internal conflicts within Harvey and Wendell, as well as external conflicts of the boys and Lulu against the House and its controlling force. The main troubles are Harvey’s desire and limited ability to help Lulu and Lulu’s transformation.

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In Chapter 12 of The Thief of Always, Harvey and Wendell silently prepare to escape from the House and its surrounding grounds at midnight when Halloween ends.

Harvey suspects that midnight, when one day turns into the other, might be a time when the House’s guard is down. He asks Wendell to join him in attempting an escape at that hour on Halloween night. Both boys fear the power of the House and the forces that control it and its inhabitants. They experience internal conflict between their desire to be free and their fear of getting caught. After passing a written plan to Wendell, Harvey meets up with him later that evening and sees in his eyes "a look...that said: I'm ready. I'm nervous, but I'm ready."

Harvey leaves the House first, but before he can get very far he hears a faint sound. Gradually realizing that Lulu is calling his name, he tries to find her, but she is hiding from him. Harvey wants her to join them in the escape, but she refuses. Harvey thinks that fear is preventing her, but as they continue to speak, he understands that she is not the same person. When she gives him some figures from his ark, he figures out that she has dived into the lake and is now turning into one of the fish creatures that inhabit it.

Although Lulu had overcome her fear in order to help him, she is now suffering a painful transformation and she tumbles into the lake. Lulu’s conflict with the House’s power has been partly resolved through her sacrifice, which she hopes will help the boys break free.

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